This Companion presents the current state of criticism in the field of American fiction from the earliest declarations of nationhood to secession and civil war.
- Draws heavily on historical and cultural contexts in its consideration of American fiction
- Relates the fiction of the period to conflicts about territory and sovereignty and to issues of gender, race, ethnicity and identity
- Covers different forms of fiction, including children’s literature, sketches, polemical pieces, historical romances, Gothic novels and novels of exploration
- Considers both canonical and lesser-known authors, including James Fennimore Cooper, Hannah Foster, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Herman Melville and Harriet Beecher Stowe
- Treats neglected topics, such as the Western novel, science and the novel, and American fiction in languages other than English